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Author Topic: Thumb strap questions  (Read 3834 times)

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Jamie Robertson

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Thumb strap questions
« on: November 17, 2007, 05:57:21 AM »

Yet more questions from a recent pokerwork aquirer:

1.  How tightly should a thumb strap hold the thumb?  Mine is rather loose--I could almost put a 2nd thumb in with the first.  It is also made of some kind of fuzz lined plastic, which seems to be stretching with use.

2.  How wide a strip of leather should I use?  I'm thinking about as wide as the length of the 2nd joint of my thumb.

3.  Do I have to go in from the bass side and remove the keyboard in order to get to the nut inside of it  The strap is held on by a brass machine screw with a nut inside the keyboard.

Thanks in advance for any advice you folks can provide.  After I add the shoulder straps, and the thumb strap, and maybe lengthen the bass strap, I'll start to figure out how to work 2 rows with basses.
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Mike Gott

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 12:26:01 PM »

I play the 1-row on thumb strap only,though when I play the 2-row I don't use it, instead having my thumb on the edge of the keyboard and with the instrument on two shoulder straps - this is because most of my 2-row playing is done stood up for a morris team and playing this way keeps my wrist straight, hopefully avoiding tendon problems (see avatar).

Anyway - an original Hohner leather thumb strap measures up as 1" wide. They were originally fitted by rivets, it just depends on how you want to fit yours as to wether you need to remove the keyboard. As for tightness on the thumb, I set mine so I can just comfortably get my thumb in but I can actually hang the melodeon off my thumb when it's on - it just comes down to experimentation really. If your thumb starts going blue....

99% of people will tell you to take the thumb straps off but the players of old seemed to cope well enough, didn't they? It really comes down to what you're happy with. Just be careful not to play with your wrist crooked - it can really cause problems later on.
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 07:44:48 PM »

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  My box didn't come equipped with shoulder straps, but they're in the mail.  I immediately saw how valuable they would be, and other players on the forum universally concurred with one another on their value.  But I have to play with this box until I get it properly rigged, and the thumb strap is my only option, for the moment.

The straight wrist is critical in all playing.  I stay after my guitar students about that constantly.

Thanks again.
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Ancient Muse

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2008, 12:21:31 AM »

Just be careful not to play with your wrist crooked - it can really cause problems later on.

Thank you for this advice - I'm a complete newbie to this Pokerwork lark (but thoroughly enjoying so far!)
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george garside

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2008, 10:41:16 AM »

Quote from: Jamie
 

The straight wrist is critical in all playing.  I stay after my guitar students about that constantly.

Thanks again.

not sure what you mean by a straight wrist!   the ?normal way with a 2 or 3 row box is to havae the thumb on the edge of the keyboard so that it can slide up & down ( some boxes have a groove in the edge of the keyboard for that purpose)  & the fingers arched round in a U shape so that the finger tips rest on the buttons. This results in the wrist being 'bent' at very roughly 22% towards the keyboard.

 Thumb strap intended for playing with box on left knee while seated & not necessary if 2 shoulder straps used. Although many play standing with one long shoulder strap  this again is really only intended to provide extra support whilst playing seated.  For standing one strap possible (as many do!) but can result in strain on shoulder, back , neck etc sue to contortions required to  keep the keybord where it belongs, - I use 2 straps all the time & there seems to be an increase in the use of 'back straps'  ( a little strap that joins the 2 straps across your back to stop them slipping off your shoulders.  I personally don't like back straps as I feel trussed up but I do recommend 2 wide padded shoulder straps rather than the thin leather ones.

george
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 10:50:50 AM by theo »
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 08:41:06 PM »

By "straight" I mean as close to that as possible.  If you hyper bend your wrist in either direction, your fingers will barely move at all, and repetitive motion strain can result more quickly than if your wrists are in a greater angle.

J
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Delboy

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 07:36:09 AM »

Thumb strap intended for playing with box on left knee while seated & not necessary if 2 shoulder straps used. Although many play standing with one long shoulder strap.
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I'm a one shoulder strap no thumb strap man. I've tried two straps but can't get my box to hang right if you know what I mean. Two straps forces it too high for me personaly, I like it to hang low ;D


Derek
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 07:38:34 AM by Delboy »
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Rob2Hook

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 10:47:00 AM »

I admit I hate thumbstraps - BUT - to access them on a Hohner, pull out the pins holding the bellows frame to the treble side.  The whole treble end now drops off and looking inside you'll see two screw heads in the bottom corners. These hold the keyboard onto the box.  Now, some have some glue or mastic and some don't, but either way, taking those two long screws out should allow the keyboard box to come off, then you can get at the thumbstrap nut.  When reassembling, you might want to put a dab of sealant on the screw heads to prevent leaks, but most likely you won't notice the difference!

Good luck - just take good care not to damage the screw heads (been there, done that ...)!

Rob.

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Theo

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Re: Thumb strap questions
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 12:27:52 PM »

For a long time (several decades I think) the thumbstraps on two row Hohners are fixed with rivets, so unscrewing them is not an option. 

The quick and easy fix is to cut the thumbstrap off with a sharp knife.
If you want to get remove the whole thing rivets and all, then follow Robs excellent description of how to get the keyboard housing off then, working through the button holes, drill out the end of the rivet.  To stop the rivet turning you will need to grip the other end of the rivet in a vice.  You can't easily drill them out from outside because of the rivets being able to turn, and anyway you would end up with bits of rivet loose inside the keyboard.  Its much easier to just cut the strap off.
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